Author: Alexander J. Belohlávek
Publisher: Juris Publishing, Inc.
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Consumer protection has become a phenomenon of the past years and the combination of consumer protection and arbitration is especially sensitive. Some countries experience tens of thousands of consumer arbitrations each year while others significantly limit or even entirely exclude arbitration in consumer disputes. Many countries have undergone certain reforms in consumer disputes, the main objective of which is the protection of consumers in arbitration. The controversial variable is the degree of protection to be afforded to the consumer, both under the applicable substantive law and in procedural terms. These are the main issues addressed in this book. Apart from the key topic, the author has extensively elaborated on certain fundamental categories such as public interest and public policy (all primarily in connection to the procedural mechanisms of consumer protection); he has also analyzed the applicable European law and the case law of the ECJ and offered an overview of the individual systems employed in both European and non-European countries (especially the USA and Canada). An integral part of this book is an extensive comparison and analysis of the voluminous case law (several tens of decisions), with reference to more than three hundred other available court decisions. The book also focuses on the position of the consumer in the individual procedural stages, the intervention of courts in arbitration motivated by consumer protection, the individual stages of proceedings, recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards rendered in consumer disputes, both in domestic context and in the international milieu etc. The international practice significantly influences the domestic environment in the individual countries. The key issue in the EU countries is, in principle, the enforcement of EU standards which influence the domestic models of consumer protection, primarily in connection with the autonomous EU interpretation of a number of institutions. Many related issues have not yet been addressed in the case law of certain states. In fact, some of them have never even been discovered. Besides, the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards requires, inter alia, the compliance with extra-EU international obligations binding on the individual states. And finally, arbitration is not regulated by the EU law, as opposed to consumer protection. Naturally, arbitration is to a significant extent regulated by international law. This results in conflicts between national, international interpretation and interpretation pursuant to the EU law, where the circumstances allow to apply the EU law. This book is intended for all readers who have any experience with enforcement of consumer rights, as well as for all professionals dealing with arbitration in general. It is therefore intended for general legal practitioners, lawyers, primarily arbitrators, of course, but also for judiciary dealing with civil matters in the broadest sense. Apart from a voluminous case law, the book quotes from a number of domestic and foreign sources and, above all, offers a long list of structured bibliography and detailed subject index, as well as a table of states, table of cases and list of legal sources. It is therefore not only an important tool for the practice, but also a useful instrument for academics (lawyers as well as other professionals).